2023 AWARD WINNERS
Mercedes A. Gordon
An LPN on Neurology/Oncology Unit 5-3 at Duke Regional Hospital, Mercedes is also a student at Watts College of Nursing, where she is on schedule to graduate with her BSN in December. Mercedes is a member of our health system’s Clinical Practice Council and the hospital’s Nursing Practice Council, where she is part of the Neuro Expert Group. She received two nominations, one from the daughter of a patient, and the other from a patient’s friend. Both recognized her excellent caregiving. The patient’s daughter wrote: she went “far beyond any expectations we had. … She provided comfort to both my mom and us as a family, explaining things, answering questions and providing comfort when appropriate and needed. She is STELLAR to say the least.”
Mercedes has been an LPN on our unit, while attending Watts to obtain her BSN. Her clinical rotations have been held at DRH, just down the hallway from her home unit. Mercedes has had the highest regard for “staying in her lane” and not blurring the lines between her two roles. When she is wearing her LPN cap, she is spot on with her patient care … caring for patients who are critically ill, on comfort care, acute strokes, etc. When she is wearing her nursing student cap, she is careful to follow the direction of her preceptors and not perform care independently that a nursing student would not be allowed to do.
From the moment I met Mercedes, she has been in high gear, ready to meet every goal she sets for herself. As a new LPN joining our team, she immediately wanted to climb the Clinical Ladder for LPNs. She sought out councils she could be a part of, and pursued her advancement without needing much direction from me. She is a self-starter and is excellent in everything she does.
She has taken the role of LPN, which was new to our unit, and has worked so hard to bring herself to the top of her Clinical Ladder.
Mercedes is working full-time while attending nursing school, and also juggling a family at home. However, anytime another staff member reaches out with a scheduling conflict, she is the first to help! She works so well with the team!
Patient’s friend: I am forever grateful for this young lady. She cared for my friend, who was a patient at the hospital. My friend had … a horrible night the previous night. I stayed with my friend all night. She walked in and said, “My name is Mercedes — yes, spelled exactly like the car — and I will be your nurse today.” My friend said, “Your name is Mercedes just like the car? That is awesome.” My friend smiled for the first time in days. She listened to my friend and gave the pain meds desperately needed; and we were able to leave the hospital the same day. Some people think that requests for pain medication are related to addiction. This nurse listened. She listened to my friend’s pain. She told him that sometimes, you have to take everything just one day, one hour, one second at a time. Mercedes helped my friend to pack belongings and to get dressed, then got a wheelchair and took my friend down to the mom’s car. As of today, my friend is in a recovery center, taking just “one day at a time.”
Patient’s family member: She provided EXCELLENT support and care for my mom … going far beyond any expectations we had. She restored our HOPE in medicine and those that practice. She provided comfort to both my mom and us as a family, explaining things, answering questions and providing comfort when appropriate and needed. She is STELLAR to say the least … a true asset to any institution. If we could request her every time, WE WOULD!
I feel like a took a chance in hiring Mercedes … she was a brand-new LPN, and could only work two days a week, since she was in nursing school at Watts College of Nursing. However, I knew from the moment I met her that her personality was infectious, and she had to be part of our team. I have not regretted my decision for one moment and have been absolutely blown away at what this woman has been able to accomplish! She is simply amazing … and our team and patients are blessed to know her!
Mercedes A. Gordon
Licensed Practical Nurse III
Neurology/Oncology Unit 5-3
Duke Regional Hospital